Qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2000 final tournament, took place throughout 1998 and 1999. Forty-nine teams were divided into nine groups. All teams played against each other, within their groups, in a home-and-away basis. The winner of each group and the best runner-up qualified automatically for the final tournament. The rest of the runners-up played an additional set of playoff matches amongst each other.
The best runner-up of the entire group phase qualified automatically for the final tournament. To determine the best runner-up, a comparison was made between all of them. Only matches played against teams that finished first, third and fourth were regarded. Matches played against fifth and sixth placed teams were discarded, because some groups had more teams than others. After the best runner-up was found, all the others (eight of them) entered a random playoff to determine four more teams to qualify.